A researcher who knew about high levels of mercury contamination in Maine lobster said he informed state officials years before they took action. Chris Whipple was one of three scientists who researched mercury contamination at the mouth of the Penobscot River. Effective Saturday, the state is closing 7 square miles of the area to lobstering, for two years. The study found high levels of mercury that prompted the authors to present their findings to Maine and federal officials at a September 2010 workshop. The Maine Department of Marine Resources previously said it did not learn of the contamination until November 2013.